Benedictine College

Benedictine College
1020 North 2nd Street
Atchison, KS  66002


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Year founded
Full-Time Undergraduate Enrollment
On-Campus Residence
Number of States Represented
Foreign Countries Represented
Ratio of Men to Women
Student/Faculty Ratio
Retention Rate 
80% of the Student Body

Mission statement/description

Heir to the 1500 years of Benedictine dedication to learning, the Benedictine College mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, and residential college is the education of men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

Our mission to educate has three dimensions:

  • Dynamic Community: Residential living that transforms the classroom experience.
  • Thriving Faith: Rooted in the intellectual heritage of the Catholic Church and lived in our daily lives.
  • Inspiring Scholarship: Through community and faith we create passionate lifelong learners.

Benedictine College is located in Atchison, Kansas, on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.  Our students are challenged to strive for intellectual, personal and spiritual greatness so that they will become true Benedictine leaders who will transform the world.

The two sponsoring institutions are Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and St. Benedict's Abbey.  The presence of the sisters and monks on the faculty, in administration, and on campus brings the Rule of St. Benedict to the forefront on a daily basis.  There are 10 core values from the Rule on which Benedictine College builds its foundation.  In addition, the entire institution is guided by the vision of building one of the great Catholic colleges in America.

  • Named one of the top 20 Catholic colleges in America by the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.
  • Named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Named a “best buy in faithfulness and affordability” by the Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education.
  • The Catholic Church has expressed its appreciation for Benedictine College’s mission in visits from Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, U.N. Ambassador Archbishop Celestino Migliore, U.S. Ambassador Archbishop Pietro Sambi, along with several regional archbishops and bishops.
  • Wangari Maathai, Class of '64, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, making Benedictine College the only Catholic college in America to graduate a Nobel Peace Laureate.
  • Benedictine College’s ministry program is recognized by the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College as one of the best in the country.
  • Through a landmark agreement with the University of North Dakota, Benedictine College is now one of the few Catholic colleges in the nation offering an ABET-accredited program in Chemical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
  • Benedictine College’s new nursing program, housed in the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing and Health Education, upon completion of the licensing and accreditation requirements, will grant its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees in May of 2012.
  • Benedictine College increased study abroad opportunities by opening a campus in Florence, Italy, and by creating opportunities to study in the Amazon, Egypt, France, the Holy Land and South America.

U.S. News and World Report Profile

Qualifications for entry

Students who meet the following criteria and who demonstrate promise of college success are generally admitted to freshman standing: earn a “C” (2.0/4.0) average in high school academic/core studies; receive a composite score of eighteen or more on the ACT, 860 or higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT); graduate in the upper half of one’s high school senior class.

Benedictine College operates on a rolling admission policy and applicants are notified of acceptance within two weeks after completing the application procedures. To be considered for admission, prospective students need to submit the following documents: a completed application for undergraduate admission, including a guidance counselor recommendation; $25.00 non-refundable application fee (unless applying online); an official report of scores earned on the ACT or SAT examination; official high school transcript(s) of any and all secondary schools attended.

Formation program

The mission of the Benedictine College Ministry St. Martin Center is to form the students, faculty and staff of the college in the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Catholic tradition of sacramental union, spiritual formation, scriptural literacy and social mission.
Transform lives in Christ - John 15:5 Benedictine College Ministry exists to transform lives in Christ through His Church, by living in community with the students and those affiliated with Benedictine College and guiding them on their journey of intellectual, personal, and spiritual formation.
Benedictine College Ministry aims to form men and women who are joyful in their vocation, leaders in their communities, competent in their profession, mature in their faith, virtuous in their decisions, and dedicated to serving the global human family by building a culture of life and civilization of love for the glory of God. Through the work of Benedictine College Ministry, the Catholic Church on campus, graduates will bring Christ and his Church's mission to all aspects of culture, especially the family, social, economic, religious, and new sectors of society. Ultimately our goal is to help students experience eternal happiness with the Trinity in heaven.

COMMUNION AND LIBERATION—Communion and Liberation is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life.  The name Communion and Liberation synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of the authentic liberation of man. Communion and Liberation is present today in about seventy countries throughout the world.  Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of good will are invited in friendship.  There is no type of membership card, but only the free participation of persons.

FOCUS BIBLE STUDY—Weekly men's or women's small group Bible studies, offering one-on-one mentorships, fellowship time, and leadership training.  Started in 1998 at Benedictine College, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students challenges students to live out chastity, sobriety, and excellence and equips students to live out and defend their faith.  Missionaries at Benedictine strive to bring the truth and love of Jesus Christ to campus. Students of all faiths are welcome. FOCUS, a national collegiate outreach program, currently serves 50 campuses.  Benedictine College is one of the largest providers of missionaries to the program.

HOUSEHOLD SCHOOLS OF THE LORD'S SERVICE—A household is a group of students who live, pray, and work together. There are currently two men's and two women's households on Benedictine's campus that are led by St. Paul's Outreach missionaries.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS—This fraternal organization is opened to all practicing Catholic men. The mission of members is to take a leadership role in a wide variety of ministries that serve both the Church and community. Most of the work is charitable. Those who belong give freely of their time to the Church and the community.

VARSITY CATHOLIC—Athletes join in fellowship to apply Scripture to their lives through study, fellowship, and accountability.  An attitude open to the challenge of accountability, chastity, sobriety, and excellence is a must.  Athletes will be called to live beyond reproach.

Students have many opportunities on campus to attend daily mass, reconciliation and perpetual adoration. In addition to the campus ministry masses, students are welcome to attend mass at both of the sponsoring institutions.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at regular times on campus, as well as by appointment with priests on campus. All students are invited to join the sisters and monks in praying the Divine Office.

Benedictine College dedicated a Marian Grotto in the center of campus, offering a breathtaking place to pray. Mary’s Grotto was built during the 150th anniversary of the apparition of our Lady of Lourdes, and was inspired by the Lourdes Grotto in France.  Two stones from Lourdes are the Grotto’s newest additions.

ROSARY—Rosaries are said in the residence halls as well as at scheduled times in St. Martin’s chapel. President Stephen Minnis leads a Raven Rosary for the College every Wednesday morning.

PARTNERS IN PRAYER—Students, male and female, regularly meet with a sister and attend Mass, or Liturgy of the Hours and a meal.
LECTIO DIVINA—Live this Benedictine from of prayer by learning to pray with saints:  John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Sienna, Ignatius, Alphonsus Liguori, Benedict & Scholastica.  Pray the Life of Christ, investigate your interior life, overcome obstacles, dissect desolation and consider consolation in your lectio divina.
HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE— Walk in the footsteps of the Messiah by travelling to the places of the Rosary.  Begin at Nazareth, the site of the Annunciation and the house of the Holy Family.  Sail the Sea of Galilee and pray at Peter’s house in Capernaum, the first domus ecclesia, house church in Christendom.  See where the first Mass was celebrated.  Carry the Cross in Jerusalem and experience Pentecost in the Upper Room, and climb the Mount of Olives to the place of the Ascension.
ROME PILGRIMAGE— Go deeper in your faith by travelling to the heart of the Catholic Church.  Stay one block from the Vatican and pray at St. Peter’s.  Visit 50 saints, 24 churches, 9 apostles and one Pope Benedict XVI.  Experience a unique insider’s perspective on the Eternal City that helps make the saints, churches and works of art will come powerfully alive.

RCIA—Candidates for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and those who are already baptized and wish to join the Catholic Church participate in the initiation ministry with volunteers who support the candidates, accompany them on the journey, serve as a sponsor, and help with related spiritual and social activities. In 2010, 13 students were received into full status in the Catholic Church at the Divine Mercy Mass celebrated by Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann.
MARRIAGE PREP—Engaged couples meet monthly to study and discuss the dynamics of Christian Marriage, the theology of the body, relationships, finances, communication, and Natural Family Planning (NFP) so they experience a happy lifelong union until death do they part.

Benedictine College not only fosters a love of learning, but also prepares men and women for their vocation in life whether it be marriage, priesthood, brotherhood, sisterhood, or single life through several yearly vocation events. In the last 15 years, 43 graduates have become priests, religious brothers or sisters. Currently, an additional 53 students or alumni, including 11 students in 2010, have either begun formation or announced their intention to join religious life.

Benedictine College has nine liturgical choirs to worship the Lord at Mass, on retreat, in adoration, during processions and on special occasions.

ULTIMA CHOIR—Sunday Morning Mass
CHRISTOS CHOIR—Sunday Evening Mass
CHAPEL CHOIRS—Weeknight Masses
MEMORARE CHOIR—Special masses for guests, Marian feasts, and game day Masses
DIVINE PRAISE CHOIR—Monthly Divine Praise, weekly worship nights, retreats, and conferences
SOUND MINISTRY—Ministers serve in setting up and operating the sound system for celebrations in St. Martin's Chapel, the Abbey Church, and other areas.

RAVENS RESPECT LIFE—Volunteers of this premiere pro-life organization raise the consciousness of the community to the evils of abortion by getting involved in pro-life legislation and the culture of life.
JFA: JUSTICE FOR ALL—A pro-life organization comes to campus to teach students how to discuss pro-life issues and take it from debate to dialogue. Students then travel to a state campus to live what you have learned by talking to students about the right to life issues. 
MARCH FOR LIFE—Each January, members of the BC community make a pro-life pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to join thousands of people in defending the right to life. 
VIGIL FOR LIFE—Each January, members of the BC community join in solidarity with the unborn and those on the March for Life to pray and fast over a 24-hour period for an end to abortion and the culture of death.
PRO-LIFE ROSARY—Each Monday, Ravens Respect Life hosts a rosary to pray for a respect for all life: from womb to tomb.
NATIONAL LIFE-CHAIN—This ecumenical national prayer chain advances the Gospel of Life in the public square on National Life Chain Sunday each October.  We stand with thousands of churches in hundreds of cities along the highways of our country to recognize the holocaust of unborn babies. 
PRAYER AND COUNSELING—Students join our local bishops and hundreds of pro-life people to pray for an end to the abortion holocaust at abortion clinics in Kansas City each month.

MISSION TRIPS—Benedictine College Ministry offers service and evangelistic mission trips to a wide variety of locations (Argentina, Belize, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Peru, Tanzania and parts of the United States) serving the materially and spiritually poor.

CAN DO—Collect canned food to benefit a local food pantry
CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE—Provide area teens with Christmas presents
POST-GRAD VOLUNTEERS—Connect with social sector groups where they can volunteer for one or two years following graduation. 
HUNGER COALITION—Through the Skip-A-Meal program, students “skip” their Wednesday night meal for someone less fortunate in the local community
LUGGAGE FOR BELIZE—Fill travel luggage with office and school supplies for missionaries to take to the Belize Mission
SOCIAL JUSTICE TASK FORCE—Educate the college community on the seven social teachings of the Catholic Church and challenge us to action
SOUP KITCHEN THURSDAYS—Serve and share a meal with the hungry at a soup kitchen on the first and fourth Thursdays each month
SPECIAL OLYMPICS—Serve as scorekeepers, officials, and lunch servers to young Olympians one or two days each spring semester
TUTORING PROGRAM—Tutor students at the local public elementary and junior high school
BLOOD DRIVES—Blood Drives are sponsored by the American Red Cross and the Atchison Community Blood Center each year, with volunteers scheduling the events, recruiting donors, helping with set-up and take-down, and serving as hospitality ministers during the event
SOCIAL JUSTICE WEEK—Each spring various organizations dedicated to advancing Christ's vision for humanity and the virtue of justice organize a social justice week where speakers present and events are held to promote Catholic social teaching and a more just society
FOOD AND CLOTHING DRIVES—Drives for food and clothing are typically held at the end of each semester by various clubs and organizations on campus 

ATHLETE RECOVERY—Peers connect with and encourage injured athletes through prayer, visits, calls, and/or email so athletes stay positive during recovery
BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY—Provide emotional and spiritual support to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one through prayer, visits, and/or a series of letters
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS—Help kids know there is a place for them to go and positive role models who care for them
FAITH ALLIANCE TASK FORCE—People of different faiths gather together for mutual support and community through prayer services, discussion groups, and connectivity to local churches of all denominations
FRIENDLY VISITORS—Visit the elderly or someone with a minor disability
DRAMA MINISTRY—Share the gospel and express our Catholic faith through skits, plays and other dramatic venues
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT OUTREACH—Welcome and assist international students by building relationships with them and accompanying them to events
MENTOR PROGRAM—Become a big sister or brother to a local teen through the "You Have a Friend" program at the Atchison Guidance Center
NURSING HOME VOLUNTEERS—Assist residents at one of Atchison's several nursing homes by befriending and helping them
PRISON MINISTRY—Minister at the Atchison jail, the Atchison Juvenile Correctional Facility, and the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks
ROSARY MINISTRY—Make Rosaries for missions, prisons, campus, the troops, and other groups needing specially-made Rosaries

RETREAT TEAM- SET FREE MINISTRY—The Benedictine College Ministry Retreat Team provide one day retreats for high school, junior high and confirmation youth.
LIFE TEEN—Volunteers provide leadership for Atchison Area Life Teen, an inter-parish, Catholic youth group dedicated to lead teens closer to Christ. 
CORE TEAM—Volunteers lead teens closer to Christ by building relationships with junior high and high school students in the Atchison region through dynamic educational and social opportunities.

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